Books in my Beach Bag this Summer

Ah, summer.

It’s my absolute favourite time to curl up with a great book. Preferably in the sun, with a cold drink, and sun kissing my skin.

Normally, I would just grab a book as I go, with no real summer reading list in place. But after several friends and fans of the blog reached out to request my “official” summer must-reads, well… I was inspired.

The result?

Books in my Beach Bag this SummerThree hundred and sixty-five days out of the year, I always have a good book tucked in my Kate Spade bag. I’m a big believer in taking advantage of whatever moments you can to lose yourself in a book. In the summer, the same is true for my beach bag. Beach essentials always include:

  • Beach Towel
  • Sunscreen + LipBalm with SPF
  • Sunglasses
  • Bottle of Water
  • iPhone, Summer Playlist & Earbuds
  • A great summer read.

So what books are in my beach bag this summer?

Here are the 6 books I’m reading this summer – complete with a mix of old and new!

photo 21. Clipped Wings by Helena Hunting 

An emotional love story that follows the touch-and-go relationship of Hayden and Tenley; two young people who desperately want to love and be loved but are afraid to completely let go of their pasts. Read more.

I first read Clipped Wings when it was a fanfic, years ago, and it was always one of my favourites. I just started reading the book this week and it’s even better than the fic. It’s also been slightly re-worked enough to include surprises and twists that make me feel like I’m discovering it for the first time all over again. And if you’re into men with tattoos and tousled hair who enjoy cupcakes and kittens – this one’s for you.

2. Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann

Dolls: red or black; capsules or tablets; washed down with vodka or swallowed straight-for Anne, Neely, and Jennifer, it doesn’t matter, as long as the pill bottle is within easy reach. These three women become best friends when they are young and struggling in New York City and then climb to the top of the entertainment industry-only to find that there is no place left to go but down-into the Valley of the Dolls. Read more.

This book was a gift from my mom who thought I should read it after I raved about how much I loved Wolf of Wall Street and how I didn’t realize quaaludes were a thing in the 80’s-90’s. It’s also a movie from 1967 staring Sharon Tate before her untimely death in the infamous Manson murders. Needless to say, I’m really excited to read this cult favourite on a lawn chair with my own drug of choice this summer: a Corona or spritzer. Quaaludes optional.

3. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway 

In 1918 Ernest Hemingway went to war, to the ‘war to end all wars’. He volunteered for ambulance service in Italy, was wounded and twice decorated. Out of his experiences came A Farewell to Arms. Hemingway’s description of war is unforgettable. He recreates the fear, the comradeship, the courage of his young American volunteer and the men and women he meets in Italy with total conviction. But A Farewell to Arms is not only a novel of war. In it Hemingway has also created a love story of immense drama and uncompromising passion. Read more. 

I like to call myself a Hemingway fan. Perhaps it’s because I have a Hemingway cat. You can even follow her on her own Instagram account – @Bella_Thumbs. Yet I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve never actually read a Hemingway book. So I remedied this when I picked up a super old copy of A Farewell to Arms at the cutest used bookstore in Vancouver called Paper Hound. Kate took me there on our 50 Shades of Grey tour because it’s where they filmed the scene of Christian buying Anna her first edition Thomas Hardy book. Why did I decide on this book? It features one of my favourite literary quotes to reblog on Tumblr. I can’t wait to dive into it this summer.

4.  Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren

One-night stands are supposed to be with someone convenient, or wickedly persuasive, or regrettable. They aren’t supposed to be with someone like him. But after a crazy Vegas weekend celebrating her college graduation—and terrified of the future path she knows is a cop-out—Mia Holland makes the wildest decision of her life: follow Ansel Guillaume—her sweet, filthy fling—to France for the summer and just…play. When feelings begin to develop behind the provocative roles they take on, and their temporary masquerade adventures begin to feel real, Mia will have to decide if she belongs in the life she left because it was all wrong, or in the strange new one that seems worlds away. Read more.

Ok, so I cheated. I’ve technically already read this book BUT it was my first book of the summer, so it still counts. And what did I say about it on every social media platform in existence? Oh right – the one book you must read this summer. So it belongs on this list. You can read my review here but you should really just go buy it and read it now.

5. The Plan by Qwen Salsbury 

Emma Baker has never spoken a word to Alaric Canon, nor has he to her. But she’s studied him every day across the office tundra for almost a year. Canon is hard and fierce, terrifying and beautiful. He’s also the most stern, unforgiving person Emma has ever seen. He has high standards and low tolerance. Everyone knows it. Everyone stays away. Everyone who can, that is. Except Emma. She can’t look away. Alaric Canon is the single most attractive man she’s ever seen. Bar none. Canon has never noticed her. Not once in almost a year. She’s not even a blip on his radar. But she will be. His radar will be blipless no more. It is a goal. Emma has a plan. Read more.

The Plan originated two years ago and became one of my favourite fanfics of all-time. Updating in real time – yes, sometimes it would update at 3:00am EST and I’d get up for it – I was over the moon when I found out it was not only getting published but would include 30,000+ words. Needless to say, I can’t wait to see what it’s become in print, because it owned my ass two years ago and I still can’t stop thinking about it two years later.

photo 3

6. A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams

Memorial Day, 1938: New York socialite Lily Dane has just returned with her family to the idyllic oceanfront community of Seaview, Rhode Island, expecting another placid summer season among the familiar traditions and friendships that sustained her after heartbreak. But this summer is different. Budgie and Nick Greenwalks — Lily’s former best friend and former fiancé — have arrived, too, and Seaview’s elite are abuzz. Under Budgie’s glamorous influence, Lily is seduced into a complicated web of renewed friendship and dangerous longing. As a cataclysmic hurricane churns north through the Atlantic, and uneasy secrets slowly reveal themselves, Lily and Nick must confront an emotional storm that will change their worlds forever… Read more.

I first spotted this on Lauren Conrad’s Summer Reading List and with reviews like “Will keep the reader so engrossed, multiple applications of sunscreen will be required” and “Perfect for the fans of Gossip Girl series” how could I not add this book to my Indigo shopping cart?

And there you have it folks. I can’t wait to devour every single one of these summer reads and share my thoughts, flails, and feels with you on here in the Book Pile. To follow along in real-time, let’s be friends on GoodReads!

Now, I’m off to curl up with a good book and a hurricane!

Happy Saturday and Happy Summer Reading!

x C x


12 thoughts on “Books in my Beach Bag this Summer

  1. Happy saturday! Sadly we don’t Get those books in paper in México but i’ll definitely Get them on Amazon :) clipped wings is my favorite fic of all time. Oh the angst!!! And now that it has become a book i can’t wait to read it. Also The Plan and Sweet filthy boy. Thanks for the recs! I’m marita btw <3

  2. Hi! First of all thank you so much for your recs! I really love to read and i’m always looking for new books i can add to my to-read list. Sadly we don’t Get a lot of books in paper in México but i’ll Get them in my kindle App so yay! Clipped wings is my favorite fic ever so i can’t even tell you how excited i am that it became a book, i can’t wait to start reading it and with those changes you said it had i’m even more excited to do it. I can’t also wait to read Sweet filthy book and The Plan. Those would be perfect for my summer list :)
    Thank you again and have a nice weekend!

  3. I’ve had A Farewell to Arms on my shelf FOREVER! butistillhaven’treadit Should we do a read-a-long? There’s a movie based on it too!

    Also, I may have just added A Hundred Summers to my Amazon cart.

    I hate you for making me spend all the monies…but I also love you and your cute beach towel! <3

    1. Aww ILY right back! And yess! I will let you know when I plan to start A Farewell to Arms! Maybe we can sync up!

      Also I’ve heard AMAZING things about A Hundred Summers, I’m so excited you ordered it.

      It’s the best beach towel from H’s hawaii wedding! I <3 it!

      1. Heyyyyyy Crystal. Latest reply ever but can I know what equipment/instrument did you use to take your beach book photos? (CAN’T STOP STARING AT THE PRETTY.)

Leave a Reply